A Time to Decorate the Heart
Shopping for that special gift, baking favorite, family cookies, and decorating every available space with red and green dominate our many preparations for Christmas. We rush from place to place making sure everything is perfect and ready for the celebrations that surround our holiday festivities. Like Santa, we made our lists and “now we’re checking it twice, ” not to see who’s “naughty or nice” but simply to be certain we have “plenty of room in our Inn” for Christ upon his arrival
To do this, we don’t need a shopping cart or “on line discount coupons”. We simply need a strong desire to become more than we are right now. And we can do this by opening ourselves up to God’s mercy during this Holy Year year of Mercy.
Pope Francis believes God never tires of sending His mercy into our hearts and into our lives. He reminds us of what a powerful force God’s mercy is and the wonderful ways it can lighten our burdens and lift us up whenever we fail.
Perhaps we still carry a heavy need to forgive someone who has hurt us over this past year, and its sting remains. Maybe we need to forgive ourselves for wounds we have caused to someone we love. Whatever it is, God’s mercy stands ready to wash away its embarrassing remains. And God eagerly wants to do this for us
Just as the lights on our tree shine their various colors, God desires we shine with the brilliant lights of hope, healing, forgiveness, and a personal commitment to love Him more sincerely. In these little ways we can decorate our hearts for the birth of Christ.
St. Francis de Sales echoes these same Christmas sentiments when he writes:
"How happy you will be if in the midst of the world you keep Jesus Christ in your heart! I beg Him to live and rule there eternally."
A Reading from the Gospel of Mark 1:14-15
Now after John was arrested Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the good news of God and saying, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near, repent and believe in the good news."